Padma Kathang

Tib., Padma bKa'-thang

Padma Kathang is a collective name for several (slightly different) versions of the biography of Padmasambhava (c.730-c.805), a work that was originally written by his student and consort, the Lady Yeshe Tsogyal (757-817).

It is a beautiful and poetic work that allows the reader to form a rather detailed picture of the main characters, Guru Rinpoche and his intimate students, as well as of life in Tibet during the coming of Buddhism and its initial struggle with the indigenous Bön religion.

gter shad The texts are especially valued among members of the Nyingmapa school and the practitioners of Dzogchen.

The Kathang literature consists of several terma, each of which was revealed by a different terton at a different time.

One of these texts is generally known as the Sheldrakma (Tib., Padma bKa'-thang Shel-brag-ma), a text discovered by Urgyan Lingpa (b. 1323). Another version, a terma revealed about 200 years earlier by terton Nyang Ral Nyima Öser (1124-1192), is the Sanglingma (Tib., Padma bKa'-thang zangs gling ma).